The rivalry between the area’s most decorated programs began about the way most football fans expected it would. Westlake was area’s unquestioned gridiron standard-bearer and Lake Travis had just begun to find its footing, coming off an unbeaten regular season and a second-round playoff loss the year before.
Led by future NFL fixtures Nick Foles and Justin Tucker, the Chaps handed sophomore-heavy Lake Travis a 37-14 loss to win the 2006 meeting on the Cavaliers’ home turf. By the time the teams met at Westlake in 2007, the Cavaliers young players had begun to mature and the Chaps, fresh off a state runner-up finish, had been hit hard by graduation.
Led by quarterback Walker Kobelan, the Chaps overcame a first-half deficit and used an opportunistic defense to frustrate Lake Travis junior quarterback Garrett Gilbert time and again, intercepting him four times. Two of the interceptions came late in the game as the future USA Today Player of the Year marched the Cavaliers deep into Westlake territory looking for a tying score that wouldn’t come.
By the time the dust settled, Westlake walked away with a 28-21 win that left Lake Travis coach Jeff Dicus fighting back tears following the game.
“We had a lot of opportunities there at the end and we just didn’t cash in,” Dicus said years later. “But, it made us regroup and made us understand that we can be beat if we don’t take things seriously, work harder and do the little things that were necessary.”
The Cavaliers did indeed regroup, winning their next 14 games on the way to the school’s first state title.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jay Plotkin has covered, watched, suffered through and enjoyed Lake Travis football for a combined 20 years.
He spent 15 years covering and following Lake Travis athletics while at the Lake Travis View. He joined the staff in 1996 and covered Lake Travis High School sports full-time from 1996-2000 and part-time from 2000-2011. He served as sports editor, editor and publisher (often at the same time) until leaving the paper in 2011.
For his money, Mark Kuenstler remains the best pound-for-pound LTHS football player he ever covered.
He occasionally tweets @jayplot.
Jay Plotkin is the co-author of the book Drive to Five
Drive to Five is the story of Lake Travis High School’s unexpected and unprecedented rise from doormat to Texas high school football dynasty. Follow along from the start, when LTHS began after a contentious split with Dripping Springs. Delve into what happened during the disastrous two-year stretch that finally led to the arrival of the key figures who helped take Lake Travis to legendary status: five consecutive UIL Conference 4A state championships.
For for information on the book visit: Shop Drive to Five
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